Veterans Day Program at Garst Museum: November 12, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.
As war raged in Europe and the Pacific, the United States found itself preparing for WWII. Though the country was united in its new fight, our society stubbornly struggled with righting massive discrimination and equality issues. African Americans in many U.S. states were still subject to the Jim Crow laws, and the American military was racially segregated. Millions of jobs in the defense industry were being created, but African Americans seeking employment in this vigorous industry suffered violence and discrimination. Though the United States military had a long history of accepting black service members into its ranks, with strict racial segregation policies in practice, the Marine Corps and the U.S Army Air Corps had largely denied opportunities to African Americans. With persistent pressure from America’s black leaders, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 in 1941, which barred government agencies and federal contractors from refusing employment in industries engaged in defense production based on race, creed, color, or national origin. The order required the armed services, including the Marine Corps, to recruit and enlist African Americans.
With the signing of the order, recruiting for the “Montford Marines” began in 1942. Through 1949, more than 20,000 men received basic training at the Montford Marine Base camp in North Carolina. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps, receiving training at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. Their skill, aptitude, and success in aerial missions became legendary during World War II.
Our program, Air, Land, and Sea--Brothers by Blood and in Arms, shares the extraordinary story of the five Spicer brothers from Longtown, Ohio, who chose paths to serve their country during these culturally discriminatory times. Unveiling of the exhibit detailing the Spicer brothers – Cecil, US Army Air Corps (Tuskegee Airman); Dewey, US Navy; Edward, US Army; Roy, US Army; Russell, US Marine (Montford Point Marine) – and their contributions will follow the program.
Join us for this Veterans Day program at the Garst Museum on November 12, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. The program is free to attend, and light refreshments will be served. Regular admission into the museum does apply.